Bellingham ADU Handbook

In 2018, the City of Bellingham passed a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance to allow both detached and attached ADUs in all Single-Family Zones. Since the ordinance passed, the City of Bellingham has received more ADU permit applications than ever before.

ADUs can expand the range of housing choices for residents in the city, as well as provide other benefits such as helping residents age in place, adding space to house extended family, offering an avenue for rental income, and more.

Developing an ADU can seem daunting, but you are not alone. Many ADU permit applications are submitted by homeowners who are first-time applicants. This handbook will help homeowners determine if creating an ADU on their property is feasible, and provide step-by-step guidance for how to proceed with developing one.